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Rob Driscoll
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A-Z of Endangered Species – Galápagos penguin

This week is week number 7 and I am featuring my first bird of the series, It is a penguin, everyone loves penguins and this Galápagos penguin is the only species of penguin living north of the equator. As the name suggests these penguins live on the Galápagos Islands in the Eastern Pacific ocean around 600 miles to the west of Ecuador.

This Penguin survives in the warmer Galápagos Islands due to the Cromwell current bringing cold waters up from the southern cooler regions. They spend their days in the sea eating fish and crustaceans then return to land at night.

The Galápagos penguin is quite small in size and so it is at risk from many predators. On land, the penguins are preyed upon by crabs, snakes, domestic cats, hawks, owls and even rats while in the water they are preyed upon by sharks, seals and sea lions. They also face many dangers such as Illegal fishermen interrupting the penguins’ nests and being in fishing nets by mistake. On top of all of those risks they are also in danger from regular volcanic activity.

You can find out more about the Galápagos penguin here - http://www.worldwildlife.org/species/galapagos-penguin

You can donate to the WWF-UK by visiting this link - https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/EndangeredSpecies

Next week for the letter H I am going to feature my first insect of the series.

http://www.bowtieballoonguy.co.uk/blog/
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A-Z of Endangered Species – Fossa

This week for the letter F I have made an animal called a Fossa, this mammal is the largest carnivorous animal on the island of Madagascar and they look like a cross between a dog and a cat. The fossa will eat everything they can catch including frogs, lizards, insects, fish, lemurs and other small mammals.

The Fossa is a solitary creature and they live in the dense forests all across Madagascar, usually high up in the hills and mountain forests. As with a lot of animals on Madagascar these creatures are suffering from the deforestation taking place on the island, there are protected habitats in place to give them a safe home however these are not massive and there is a lot of unprotected land. Another problem comes from local farmers, they regard the fossa as a serious threat to their poultry.

The Fossa can be seen in zoos and wildlife parks all around the world, successful breeding programmes are helping to ensure this wonderful animal does not disappear. if you would like to find out more about the fossa then follow this link - http://a-z-animals.com/animals/fossa/

My main focus of this project is to bring awareness to the many species under threat and one way you can help is to share this post and any of the others from my A-Z series.

If you would like to make a donation towards the WWF-UK then I have set up a Just giving donations page – https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/EndangeredSpecies . 100% of the monies raised on the Just Giving page will go directly to the WWF-UK

Next week for the letter G I am going to feature my first bird of the series.

http://www.bowtieballoonguy.co.uk/blog/
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A-Z of Endangered Species – Eastern Lowland Gorilla

The Eastern Lowland Gorilla is the largest of the four subspecies of gorilla, It has large stocky body, large hands and is covered in jet black hair. In this picture we can see a young male gorilla foraging for food, like all gorillas living mainly on a diet of fruit and other herbaceous materials.

Found in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) the Eastern Lowland Gorilla has been a victim of many years of civil unrest, The gorilla makes its home in the tropical rainforests of the DRC but their habitat has been dramatically reduced in size in recent years. Poaching is also a major problem along with major diseases such as Ebola.

The WWF is working hard to monitor the Gorilla population. Protected areas are being expanded and the WWF are working with the local people, park authorities and the Congolese government to help conserve this amazing primate.

The WWF has some amazing information about the Eastern Lowland Gorilla here – http://www.worldwildlife.org/species/eastern-lowland-gorilla , My main focus of this project is to bring awareness to the many species under threat and one way you can help is to share this post and any of the others from my A-Z series.

If you would like to make a donation towards the WWF-UK then I have set up a Just giving donations page – https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/EndangeredSpecies . 100% of the monies raised on the Just Giving page will go directly to the WWF-UK

Next week for the letter F I am going to feature an animal that most people will never have heard of.

http://www.bowtieballoonguy.co.uk/blog/
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The A-Z of Endangered Species - D for Desert Tortoise

It is week 4 and that means the letter D for my A-Z of Endangered Species and this week I am featuring my first reptile of the series, it is a Desert Tortoise.

This tortoise lives in the southwestern states of the United States and in northern areas of Mexico, it prefers the softer desert grounds so that it can use its strong claws to dig its underground burrows.

Desert Tortoises are threatened by various things, poaching and disease are common but other problems include the introduction of litter and landfill sites which attracts ravens, these birds can eat the smaller baby tortoises.

Ravens would not normally do too well in the harsh desert environment however with the introduction of litter and water they are now thriving in the desert areas.

Another serious problem is the driving of off road vehicles in the tortoise habitat, the off road vehicles spread invasive weeds making it difficult for the tortoises to travel around, also tortoises often seek shade from the heat during the hottest part of the day and a parked vehicle looks perfect but as you can imagine can be deadly for the poor tortoise.

My main focus of this project is to bring awareness to the many species under threat and one way you can help is to share this post and any of the others from my A-Z series.

If you would like to make a donation towards the WWF-UK then I have set up a Just giving donations page – https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/EndangeredSpecies

100% of the monies raised on the Just Giving page will go directly to the WWF-UK

Next week for the letter E I am heading to the jungles of Africa.

http://www.bowtieballoonguy.co.uk/blog/
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A-Z of Endangered Species – C is for Coral

This week I am at the letter C and I decided early on in my A-Z of endangered species that C was going to be one of the most beautiful things on the planet, Coral.

Coral reefs can be found all around the world, the most famous being the great barrier reef off the eastern coast of Australia, this stretches for nearly 1500 miles and is made up of 1000s of smaller reefs . Coral is actually a calcium skeleton formed by millions of tiny marine invertebrate of which there are over 4500 different types.

In my sculpture I feature 2 different types of coral, in the background you can see some Sea Fan coral, These are anchored into the seabed and reach up into the strong ocean currents helping the coral to catch plankton for its food.

In the foreground I have made some Great star Coral, these can form massive domes up to 1.5 metres across. I used Antonios Pinch line twist for the Great Star Coral.

Corals all around the world are really in trouble from many different threats from rising sea levels to pollution and much more, 22 coral species have been added to the official endangered species list in the past few years and I imagine more will be added in the near future. There are plenty of ways to help save these amazing corals, check out the list here – http://www.nature.org/ourinitiatives/habitats/coralreefs/ways-to-help-coral-reefs/

My main focus of this project is to bring awareness to the many species under threat and one way you can help is to share this post and any of the others from my A-Z series.

If you would like to make a donation towards the WWF-UK then I have set up a Just giving donations page – https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/EndangeredSpecies

100% of the monies raised on the Just Giving page will go directly to the WWF-UK

Next week for the letter D I am featuring my first reptile of the series.

http://www.bowtieballoonguy.co.uk/blog/
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A-Z of Endangered Species – Black-Footed Ferret

This little chap is the Black Footed Ferret, you wouldn’t think of a ferret as being endangered however these cute little ferrets have really suffered in the past.

Found only in the northern great plains of north America they rely on prairie dogs and their colonies for food. As early as the 1800s prairie dog numbers have declined due to control programs and in more recent years plagues have affected both the prairie dog and ferret populations, for a while it was thought that the Black Footed Ferret was extinct in the wild.

Due to careful management of the prairie dogs and the reintroduction of ferrets things are now starting to look up, there are now around 300 living in the wild, it does not sound like many however it is a good sign.

The WWF are working hard to save this little ferret and you can find out more about the animal and the efforts of the WWF by visiting the Black-footed ferret page on the WWF website here – http://www.worldwildlife.org/species/black-footed-ferret

My main focus of this project is to bring awareness to the many species under threat however if you would like to make a donation towards the WWF-UK then I have set up a donations page with Just giving – https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/EndangeredSpecies

100% of the monies raised on the Just Giving page will go directly to the WWF-UK

Next week I am heading down under for the letter C, any guesses?

http://www.bowtieballoonguy.co.uk/blog/
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A-Z OF ENDANGERED SPECIES – A FOR AXOLOTL

You may well recognise this little amphibian as they can been seen in zoos, aquariums, laboratories and as pets all around the world, in the wild however they can only be found in the lakes and canals of a small area in central Mexico.

If you are wondering how to pronounce the name then try this – “Ax-oh-lot-ul.”. Most wild Axolotl are actually brown or black, the pinky white variety with black eyes all descend from a mutant male Axolotl back in 1863.

Here we have a male adult axolotl, those pink frills behind his head are not just for show, they are his gills helping him to breath.

Axolotl like to eat any small creatures they can fit into their mouths and they have the incredible ability to regenerate many parts of their body, including limbs, their spines, jaws and even their brains.

Due to pollution and the introduction of invasive species these little Axolotl may disappear from the wild very soon. in 2014 a survey failed to find any of the Axolotl in the wild, some have since been found in the area so hopefully they can survive. Although not ideal Axolotl thrive in captivity and so the species should survive in aquariums around the world, maybe one day we can successfully re introduce them into the wild.

For more information on this incredible creature visit – http://a-z-animals.com/animals/axolotl/

My main focus of this project is to bring awareness to the many species under threat however if you would like to make a donation towards the WWF-UK then I have set up a donations page with Just giving – https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/EndangeredSpecies

100% of the monies raised on the Just Giving page will go directly to the WWF-UK

Next week I will be featuring one of the most endangered animals in North America.

http://www.bowtieballoonguy.co.uk/blog/
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Hey folks, well it has been nearly a year since I finished my Twisted Cinema project and about 3 years since I finished my original 365 days of balloons. I thought it was about time for a new project, so here it is.

The A-Z of Endangered Species will be a 26 week long photo and balloon project featuring a different endangered or threatened animal each week. Starting on October 29th and ending on Earth day on 22nd April 2017.

My aim for this project is to try and raise the awareness of some of those less known endangered animals, maybe there will be some you have not heard of, maybe there will be some you don’t know much about. I will also be featuring some of the well known endangered animals of this world.

Rob
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